View Full Version : Transformers Spotlight: Blurr

2008-10-31, 02:30 PM
Transformers Spotlight: Blurr reaction and discussion thread.

Go. Talk.

Due to ship November 5th.

2008-11-01, 04:12 AM
Okay. I talk.

Exited as usual, but hopes Shane doesn't give more continuity-twisting garbage. Unless it twists Origin, of course. Hopes Blurr will flow in to Spotlight Kup, Furmanverse and McCarthyverse.

Commander Shockwav
2008-11-05, 10:06 PM
Read it.

Didn't really do it for me, to be honest.

I mean, it achieves the goal of delivering a self contained character-driven one-shot.

But that's never really enough these days, is it? It just felt so generic and tired.

It's the same old cliche tale of a young punk who wakes up to the realities of his surroundings just in time to become a hero. It just felt like one of those old Furman character moments from the eighties rehashed, like an expanded version of a story you might find on the last page of an old UK TF comic or even in a Mosaic. Except back then, it was fresh and fun. Now it's just boring.

The dialogue was alright, the best moment in the story being Starscream's attempt at recruiting Blurr to the Decepticons over a few glasses of Energon. Cybertron's portrayal was well done. It's always nice to catch a glimpse of life on Cybertron pre-war. And the art was strong, so I was pleased there.

In the end though, the motivation behind Blurr's taking on the Autobot cause is not really convincing enough for me to really enjoy the moment. The whole "the lights, the roar" monologue at the end doesn't really do justice in explaining why Blurr is drawn to the Autobot cause. In fact, given his portrayal in the first half of this story, it would have made more sense if he joined the Decepticons.

After all, how does racing for personal glory and adoration, his initial characterization in the first half of the arc, lend itself to knowing "what I'm doing really matters" by joining the Autobot's and their selfless cause in the end? I know what Shane was trying to achieve as far a character development goes(ala Lightening McQueen, as someone so aptly mentioned), but the execution was weak, IMO. Maybe in the confines of a single issue, it's hard to achieve something like this as effectively as one would like.

That pivotal moment of self enlightenment, of self exploration followed by self determination so crucial in making this work is missed on me.

Also, the dialogue was so very Furmanesque, I would have sworn Simon wrote this.

I give it a "C". Good art, average story, average dialogue

2008-11-06, 02:08 AM
Not a bad issue. The artwork and coloring are superb. I'd almost swear Guido Guidi drew this. Of course, judging by the alternate sketch cover, apparently Guidi had redesigned the character in the first place. Starscream's scene where he tries to recruit Blurr is easily the best scene in the book.

Still, I have to agree with Commander Shockwav in that Blurr's decision to join the Autobots seemed a bit forced. There was no prior indication that he'd ever been interested in inspiring others through his actions.

The early look at a pre-Prime Optimus was interesting, though I'm curious how well this fits into what's already been established of the IDWverse history. Apparently there was a "Zeta Prime" in office at the time; has there been any other reference to this character, or was he made up for this story? I'd think that Sentinel Prime would have been more logical for this time period.

2008-11-07, 05:08 PM
I really thought that maybe MacCarthy was going to prove himself on this one. But he sure as hell didn't. More continuity-bending stuff, more cartoon shenannigans, more awful bits ripped wholesale out of awful movies. Yikes.

Bloody nice artwork though, if you ignore the hilariously overdone application of glow effects. Though I find the anthrocentric look of Cybertron to be incredibly off-putting with everyone being roughly the same height and living in a kind of glossed up modern-day America.

"Zeta Prime?" Really? I mean, really?

2008-11-07, 05:12 PM
By the way, did anyone else notice the Bulkhead cameos? :)

2008-11-07, 05:16 PM
Yeah, got a kick out of Bulkhead and the line, "Can you believe he gets driven everywhere?"

2008-11-07, 06:04 PM
I enjoyed that. Beautifully drawn and coloured too, in particular some awesome generics and that silhouette of Optimus over Blurr's shoulder. As with many of the spotlights, the main conclusion is that this is how fast the main story arcs should be throwing events and concepts at us.

I can quite easily buy Piston explaining what the badge is currently for... the Autobot movement have essentially borrowed an old police design and repurposed it for the conflict. Recreational pastimes pre-war and VR are nice details, and also worked directly into the story.

This also goes some way towards salvaging the Megatron: Origin period. Blurr's not the least 2D character ever, but two thumbs up. 4/5. Maybe a bit more, as I'd put this on par with Spotlight: Blaster.

the dialogue was so very Furmanesque, I would have sworn Simon wrote this
It is interesting, isn't it?

Commander Shockwav
2008-11-07, 09:21 PM
It is interesting, isn't it?

Are you just saying that, or did you really notice this too?

I think Furman fans might find this more up their alley for this reason.

2008-11-07, 09:27 PM
Are you just saying that, or did you really notice this too?
It's more that I noticed the dialogue didn't read like AHM, and if I hadn't known that this was written by McCarthy I wouldn't have assumed it wasn't Furman.

2008-11-07, 10:59 PM
To start on a positive note, I always appreciate stories, or rather characters, whose focus in not primarily placed on just the Cybertronian war effort, but also taking the time to address some of the social/political concerns usually occurring during such periods, and especially Cybertronian pastimes. It allows the "tragedy" of war to sink in better, I think. In this respect, it is quite similar to Spotlight: Blaster....but, I personally wouldn't go far to say Spotlight: Blurr was as good as that one. I just can't (though even Blaster had moments that made me groan).

I understand that the character wasn't meant to be laudable or earn the reader's sympathy as Blaster was meant to, I get that and it wouldn't be fair to make that comparison, but, and to echo what has already been said, I was left scratching my noggin as to how Blurr was drawn to the Autobots in the first place considering who he is. One of the conclusions I was able to draw, other than seeing his "friends" dead (which, from what I gathered, he initially had no interest in avenging them until Optimus said something), was perhaps because he saw a reflection of himself in Starscream (who had attempted to recruit him), had some introspection between leaving the bar and meeting the Autobots, and thus had his epiphany. This works for me, but this is speculation on my part since it really wasn't indicated if that was the case. Though internal monologue really was not essential in telling this particular story since the images did a decent job conveying the story, I think a brief, thoughtful moment here would've helped - even if the character is not prone to do so. Thus, the issue read awfully light than it should have.

Aside from out-of-continuity moments that just didn't seem mesh all that well, Blurr is a nifty character, just not an admirable one.

3.0 out of 5

Commander Shockwav
2008-11-08, 03:54 AM
Though internal monologue really was not essential in telling this particular story sincethe images did a decent job conveying the story, I think a brief, thoughtful moment here would've helped - even if the character is not prone to do so.

Felt the same way. There was something missing in making that epiphany palpable and believable.

Potentially, a few moments of inner monologue at that juncture would have reinforced what the art was trying to convey.

2008-11-08, 04:56 AM
Or heck, another option could have been to have Blurr spend a bit more time looking at Piston's body, and realize that he'd actually considered that 'bot a friend. No internal monologue would have been necessary -- just a moody closeup panel of Piston lying on the ground, maybe followed by an even tighter closeup panel of Blurr's face. And heck, it couldn't have hurt to play up the fact that the Decepticon lying near Piston was apparently Blurr's rival/drinking buddy Fasttrack.

2008-11-11, 04:00 PM
Bits of the story were very good. The portrayal of Cybertron before the war got started proper helped to show that Cybertron really did have a proper society before it got boiled down to just Decepticon Vs Autobot, which makes the IDW version of Cybertron a little more realistic (We saw bits of this In Megatron:Origin as well)

Starscream as a smooth, silver tongued recruiter for the Decepticon cause was a moment that warmed this fans heart. As a longtime fan of the character, used to seeing him often represented as just someone who routinely gets beaten up or treated as a joke it's nice to see more of this. Furman showed the character in a more competent light in Devastation and Mcarthy seems to have a soft spot for the character based on this and AHM. Looks like it could be a good time to be a Starscream fan.

Ironically Blurr was probably the weak link in his own Spotlight. Now, I'm not going to pretend for one minute that I'm an Autobot fan of ANY stripe. Anyone on this forum who knows me (Which seems to be a few. Nice to be remembered) knows that I have been and always will be, a Decpeticon fan through and through

But even putting that to the side and looking at the issue without bias, Blurr still comes across as weakly scripted. Mcarthy presents him throughout the story as being self centered and uniterested in the coming war. Yet one speech from Obnox...sorry, OPTIMUS is enough for him to do a complete 180? To risk his life for people he's never met, one of whom (Kup) has spent the entirety of said meeting insulting him?

Wonder what they put in that Energon he was drinking. If I was Blurr I'd be worried. ;)

Three out of five for me. Good in places and a reasonable one shot, but nothing stellar.

Commander Shockwav
2008-11-11, 10:34 PM
To risk his life for people he's never met, one of whom (Kup) has spent the entirety of said meeting insulting him?

Wonder what they put in that Energon he was drinking. If I was Blurr I'd be worried. ;)


2008-11-12, 12:35 AM
Thank you, I'll be here all week :)

inflatable dalek
2008-11-15, 06:10 PM
That was OK. Much better than anything else McCarthy has done but still far, far to obvious.

In terms of continuity, Zeta Prime doesn't contradict anything (despite being a bloody silly name). IDW have used a few of the Marvel monikers but there's nothing to say how many people have been Prime in this continuity, or that there wasn't one ten or 80 between Sentinel and Optimus.

In general terms, in order for Blurr not to seem a complete Momin I'd say this takes place either roughly parallel or right after Origin (so initially the Decepticons are very, very new) and on the other side of the planet from the events in that title, so the journalist questions are like someone asking Lewis Hamilton for a in depth opinion on the situation in the Congo rather than "Hey, haven't you noticed those people killing people just over the road?".

Nicest thing was Optimus is Optimus and not Orion Pax, so that's one bit of Origin that can go in the continuity bin. I'm not sure Kup should be a active soldier though, even at this stage considering he's supposed to have been Prime's tutor as well (though it's hard to be 100% sure on that one).

Red Dave Prime
2008-12-13, 05:23 AM
I got this much later then usual (I tend to pick up new issues on release). Have to say it really didnt grab me at all. I'm not sure what the point of it is. Its not exactly a unique story and seeing as blur is a marginal character (unless AHM proves me otherwise) its a bit, well, pointless. It reminds me of the short stories marvel would use to pad out the annuals. Nothing wrong with that, but its a waste of a spotlight issue. Felt it couls have been sumed up in a page or two. Worse still, there was a mosiac in one of the issues a while back which showed blur as a character hooked on energon to keep his speed up. THAT would have been a much more interesting story then this.